This week, City on a Hill Press asked National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes how they manage their health as student-athletes. Their answers touched on mental health, physical health and social well-being.
Sierra Yuen, a third-year, plays for women’s volleyball.
CHP: As a student-athlete who has to juggle the stressors of academics and athletics, what are some of the ways you practice self-care and take care of your mental health?
Yuen: There have definitely been times throughout my college career when I’ve been super stressed, it’s midterms season or just all this homework […] and I just think that I’ve gotten better as time goes on of doing little checks of myself and saying ‘Hey, how are you doing? Does anything need to be taken out, does anything need to be slowed down?’ What’s also nice is that my teammates are such a huge support system for me.
Chadwick Stone, a fourth-year, plays for men’s tennis.
CHP: Are there any particular hurdles to your physical or mental health that you’ve had to face as a student-athlete?
stone: Over time I feel like you just develop little injuries. I’ve been lucky enough not to develop any super detrimental injuries or season-ending injuries or anything like that, it’s just been little aches and pains, but I’m able to monitor those things by doing a lot of stretching. I make sure that my body is almost as flexible as possible just because if you’re tight anywhere in your body you’re going to come up with injuries.
Therese Recidoro, a first-year, plays for women’s tennis.
CHP: How do you take care of your health as a student-athlete? Do you have any routines?
Recidoro: As a student-athlete, some of the things that are already embedded with being on the team is we have workouts, so Tuesdays and Thursdays [at] 6:30 in the morning we’re at [Office of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports] OPERS preparing for season. […] One of the things I had to learn [as a student-athlete] was budgeting my time and figuring out my schedule. Since workouts are in the middle of the week, you have to figure out when’s the best time to sleep […] because it’s really important to get sleep too.
Justin Fortner, a third-year, plays for men’s volleyball.
CHP: What are some particular things you do to prevent injuries?
Fortner: This is our first year having a trainer travel with us and she has been really incredible for the team. Personally, I’m nursing some shoulder and elbow injuries so she has me going through rehab, going through […] electrode probes they put on you, [that] just kind of work your muscles out — ice baths pretty much every weekend after play — those are brutal, but you got to do them. […] If you have injuries and stuff it just helps it heal, reduces swelling and stuff like that.